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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dubai property slumps after banks cut lending

DUBAI: Dubai property prices dropped 23 per cent last month from a record high in September after banks cut lending and sellers offered discounts as a result of the global economic slowdown, according to an HSBC Holdings plc survey.

The average price of villas in Dubai fell 30 per cent and for apartments 20 per cent from September, according to the survey, which for the first time captured actual real-estate transaction prices in Dubai.

Developers in Dubai have cut jobs and cancelled projects to cope with a slowdown in demand and credit shortage after more than one trillion dollars in worldwide writedowns and losses at financial institutions.

Since the September high, "the discount of agreed to advertised prices has deepened, indicating market distress," HSBC analysts including Majed Azzam and David Lepper said in the report released yesterday.
"Early 2009 data suggests further weakness," the report added.

The bank added that fourth-quarter real-estate sales volume, however, showed a healthy trend with 5,800 transactions booked, 226 per cent more than for the same period a year earlier.

The bank recorded 1,782 transactions in the first two weeks of January, or 6 per cent more than for all of December and 175 per cent more than from December 2007.

By Bloomberg

NAZA TTDI eyeing land in Iskandar region

JOHOR BARU: NAZA TTDI Sdn Bhd is scouting for land in Johor, its next destination for property development and first foray outside the Klang Valley.

Group managing director Datuk Johan Ariffin said the company was looking for land here especially in Iskandar Malaysia.

Datuk Johan Ariffin (right) shaking hands with patient Wang Kong Wee after the handover. With them are Austin Heights Sdn Bhd group MD Datuk Steve Chong (left) and NAZA TTDI assistant general manager audit and compliance Mohamad Fauzy Mohd Lufti.

“Iskandar Malaysia offers good prospects for property developers with the inflow of local and foreign investors,’’ he said yesterday, adding that the company was mindful that location was still the most important factor for most property buyers in Malaysia.

Iskandar Malaysia covers 2,217 sq km and is a mixed development planned for completion by 2025.

Johan said the company was open to all options when making inroads into Iskandar Malaysia, including teaming up with Johor-based developers.

He said unlike in the Klang Valley where land suitable for property development was becoming scarce, Iskandar Malaysia still had abundant land.

“We are confident that our TTDI brand will appeal to buyers in Iskandar Malaysia as our company has a good reputation for developing quality homes,’’ he told reporters at the handing over of a dialysis machine worth RM43,000 to the JB Lions-MAA-MEDIcare Charity dialysis centre at Century Garden.

He said the donation was part of the RM1.69mil collected from the company’s charity golf tournament held last year and the collection had been handed over to more than 180 charitable bodies nationwide recently.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

MK Land sells 9.2ha to Ketara for RM150mil

PETALING JAYA: Property developer Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar’s company Ketara Megah Development Sdn Bhd has acquired 9.2ha in Selangor from MK Land Holding Bhd for RM150mil.

Ketara Megah acquired the two parcels of leasehold land in Sungai Buloh in an open tender exercise from MK Land, of which Mustapha Kamal is chairman and chief executive director.

MK Land said in a statement the sale consideration of RM150mil was in excess of the forced-sale value of RM118.35mil indicated in the valuation by PPC International Sdn Bhd.

At the close of the tender exercise on Dec 15, only one tender had been received from Ketara Megah.

The land was originally acquired by MK Land’s unit Saujana Triangle Sdn Bhd in 1995 for RM3.72mil. As at June 30 last year, the book value was RM151.9mil due to the fair value adjustments, said MK Land.

“The entire proceeds from the proposed sale will be used for working capital,” it said. It added that the proposed sale would unlock the value of land which MK Land had no immediate plan to develop.

MK Land said the proposed sale was by open tender and the transaction was not regarded as a related-party transaction under the Bursa Malaysia listing rules.

By The Star

MK Land to use proceeds from land sale for devt projects

KUALA LUMPUR: MK Land Bhd plans to use the proceeds from the disposal of 9.2ha of land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor for development projects.

In reply to a query from Bursa Malaysia Securities on Thursday, MK Land said the market value of the land was RM157.8mil while the forced sale value was RM118.35mil.

The land was acquired by Ketara Megah Development Sdn Bhd, a company related to Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar for RM157.8mil He is also chairman and chief executive officer of MK Land.

Ketara Megah acquired the two parcels of leasehold land in an open tender exercise after they were forced sold by PPC International Sdn Bhd.

MK Land said an open tender was carried out by Henry Butcher Real Estate Sdn Bhd from Sept 9 to Oct 20 last year. As there was no bid received, a second open tender was carried out from Dec 1 to 15.

The proceeds are intended to be used as working capital for the various development projects being undertaken by the Group. These development projects in a few localities such as Damansara Perdana, Damansara Damai, Bukit Merah Laketown and Ipoh.

By The Star

UMLand to directly own Bangi Heights

PROPERTY developer United Malayan Land Bhd (UMLand) is turning Bangi Heights Development Sdn Bhd into a directly owned unit to improve its structure and efficiency.

It is buying a 70 per cent stake for RM82.86 million from its wholly-owned unit, Country Equity Sdn Bhd.

Since Country Equity owes UMLand RM82.82 million as at December 31 2008, this amount will offset the total purchase consideration.

The outstanding amount of RM44,339 will be paid at completion of the exercise or remain as a debt due from UMLand.

By Business Times

Gamuda takes selective stance in Gulf states

DOHA: Gamuda Bhd, a construction company making inroads in Qatar is taking an “active but selective” approach when bidding for construction projects in the gulf states despite the good reputation of the oil rich nation, its Senior General Manager KW Chan said yesterday.

He said the company’s RM2.6 billion worth of projects to design and build airfield facilities, tunnels and detention ponds for the new Doha International Airport have been 70 per cent completed and due for completion by February next year.

“Another project, the RM760 million Dukhan Highway West, a 42 km for lane dual carriageway is now 95 per cent complete and should be ready by June l.

He said the company was bidding for the second phase of the highway for which the tender would be out next month. The contract is worth more than RM1 billion.
“We are confident of getting the job since we are already established and had been successful in implementing the first phase.

Actually we are pre-qualified for the second phase since we are already equipped with facilities like heavy machinery to implement the project,” he added.

Chan said the company was also building the RM650 million worth Sitra causeway bridge in Bahrain.

He said beside tendering in Qatar and Bahrain, the company was also eyeing potential construction projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“We will be active in the Middle East, but we are taking a selective approach when bidding for projects to keep up with our good reputation,” he added.

On the massive developments in the gulf states like Qatar he said that Malaysian companies should not be left behind in bidding for development projects especially in the construction industry.

“The key development projects like in Qatar are funded by the government and the gulf countries have huge cash reserves and this would enable them to implement many huge projects without any problem,” he added.

By Bernama